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Mandala: Seeking to Soar Again

Mandala Airlines Aiming for Take Off in May 2011.

(3/19/2011) According to Bisnis Indonesia, the currently inoperative Mandala Airlines is optimistic that they will become airborne again in May 2011, following the active participation of a new investor expected to come on board before the end of March 2011.

The director general of Air Communications from the Ministry of Transportation, Herry Bakti Singayuda Gumay, told the press that the management of Mandala has formally written to his ministry declaring their intentions to resume operations in May.

Explained Herry Bakti: "Their letter has persuaded me that they will be flying again in May. I don't know if they now have a new investment partner. The last report said that they had reached an agreement with their creditors to convert debt to equity in Mandala."

Herry welcomed plans for Mandala's re-launch but reminded that whether or not the airline flies again will depend on the evaluation of the Transportation Ministry.

Face with severe cash shortages, Mandala stopped flight operations on January 13, 2011. To obtain permission from the Indonesian government to recommence service Mandala must submit a five-year business plan that addresses fleet and route development plans.

A further indication that Mandala may resume flying soon has also come from the CEO of PT Angkasa Pura II, Tri Sunoko. Sunoko confirmed that Mandala has verbally requested that their tenancy of terminal 3 at Bandara Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Jakarta be continued to facilitate a May restart of flights.